During the July School Holidays my twin grandsons from Auckland came to stay. Among the activities that we did were toboganing at Rainbow, Go Karting and fishing, and there was plenty of fish for tea for a couple of nights.Â Also Hadley built me a stool for on the verandah. It is definitely a leaning stool. Thanks Hadley.
This winter we are improving the view from two of our rooms and decided to remove someÂ old Red Robin trees that have become very leggy.Â In their place we have planted ten Camelias, six Rhododendrons and six Hydrangeas.Â The Camelias form a backdrop for the Rhododendrons and the Hydrangeas are in the front.Â ThisÂ will provide a much brighter outlook.
We hope you will like the new view when you come and stay with us.Â
We also have some other improvements planned this winter, so keep checking back to see what we’ve been up to.
Today we started our big winter cleanup in the bottom of the garden, raking up all the autumn leaves, cutting back hellebores and a general tidy up.Â We discovered that hidden under allthe leaves grass grub had attacked the lawn.Â This is where the bugs eat the roots off the grass and the lawn dies.Â So, after I finished mowing the lawn, Robert treated it with “prills”.Â Prills are a granular treatment that need to be watered in, so on went the sprinkler.Â It was getting late when we put the sprinkler on and we went inside and promptly forgot about the sprinkler until we came outside in the morning.Â What a sight, all the water droplets from the sprinkler had made icicles which were hanging from the branches.Â The apricot tree is a real picture.Â Â What do you think?
A Californian Peppertree graces our garden.Â It is somewhere in the vacinity of 80 to 100 years of age.Â Two years ago it got peppertree wilt and we were told it was the beginning of the end.Â
Â After doing some research, we were given advice on how to organicly enhance its chances of survival.Â We have meticulously followed this advice and this summer it has been showing positive signs of regaining its beauty.Â Much toÂ the delight ofÂ ourÂ Â grandsons (who visited at Christmas and loved climbing all through it) andÂ ourselves. However on Sunday night we had a southerly storm with torrential rain. Monday morning dawned and the weather had improved.Â The sunÂ was shining it was a cracker morning so I decided to go for an earlyÂ bike ride.Â When I got home Robert had put a sign up by the entrance pagola for visitors to use theÂ alternative pathway.Â Surprised by this I went to investigate and found that half of our beautiful Californian Peppertree had collapsed across the main pathway up to the house.Â Â I hadn’t even noticed when I left for my ride,I was devastated.Â After all the work and maintenance we now have onlyÂ half a peppertree.Â We have been clearing the mess that it made in the garden.Â We hope to be able to save the remaining portion of the tree and have put in some supports for the lower branches and have sourced another big tree to plant in beside the remaining part so that if it eventually does die then the new tree will at least be established.
I suppose the upside is that we now have some free firewood for the fire in winter, so if you visit then it will nice and cosy.
Today IÂ decided to go Â pick some Â apricots at a local orchard.Â When I got home, I froze some and then made up a batch of Apricot Jam. I have also made Raspberry jam from our own raspberry patch. Yum yum it will be on the table at breakfast for those of you who stay with us.
If you have enjoyed yourÂ time at Olde Mill House or a day out on our cycles please share your experience by leaving a comment below.